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No-Jig Pocket Holes

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Forum topic by BorkBob posted 03-04-2011 03:54 PM 22255 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BorkBob

124 posts in 2159 days


03-04-2011 03:54 PM

I’ve been using this technique for years using standard drill bits and short drywall screws. It recently occured to me that a longer bit would allow more angle and depth to the holes. I got some 6” aircraft bits and #6×1-5/8” trim head screws.

This is a vanity drawer base face frame for my own use. Wood is ash.

I start with the bit vertical about 1-1.25” from the joint and quickly bring it toward the horizontal, aiming for the center of the stile.

I follow a 1/8” bit with a 5/32” bit to increase the size of the hole in the rail. I drill about 1/2” deep.

Thank goodness for impact drivers:

Backside:

Front:

-- Please Pray for Our Troops / Semper Fi / Bob Ross / www.theborkstore.com


8 replies so far

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2541 days


#1 posted 03-04-2011 04:06 PM

Do you do this with hardwood also?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 2535 days


#2 posted 03-04-2011 04:35 PM

Your technique may be what led to the development of pocket hole jigs, but I suspect that it could lead to some problems if not done flawlessly every time.

I don’t think that I would use trim head screws, however. I use the Kreg system and the truss head screws give a lot of clamping force in the flat bottomed screw holes. Probably much more than trim heads would give. I set my drill clutch to ~10 – 12, drill speed to 1, and drive to the first “click” to get rock solid joints.

Good idea getting away from drywall screws. They’re way too easy to break.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4457 posts in 3427 days


#3 posted 03-04-2011 05:25 PM

Do you do this with hardwood also?

Rich?? Ash?? Hardwood???
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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BorkBob

124 posts in 2159 days


#4 posted 03-04-2011 06:02 PM

Gosh, I got the impression that everybody here does everything flawlessly every time….lol. It takes a bit of practice but with everything solidly clamped, it’s just a matter of drilling carefully.

Sawkerf, your concern is noted. If I weren’t confident the joints are plenty strong, I would not have posted here and risked the wrath of the collective wisdom.

I’m not saying the Kreg system is lacking. This is, IMO, a viable alternative.

-- Please Pray for Our Troops / Semper Fi / Bob Ross / www.theborkstore.com

View Raspar's profile

Raspar

246 posts in 2615 days


#5 posted 03-04-2011 06:31 PM

First, I give you props for doing this without the guide. But with a price point of the Kregs line you can not beat it. It works flawlessly and I do not have to think about it.

-- Have thy tools ready. God will find thee work.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8314 posts in 3115 days


#6 posted 03-04-2011 08:45 PM

For years I’ve drilled holes for pocket screws on the fly using a 3/8”
spade bit. I drill in perpendicular to the work for about 1/4” then
abruptly turn the drill to the angle I want. Works great, really.

Not suitable for cabinetmaking really, but for screwing together
2×4s and in a pinch on installations the results are very acceptable.

View bobsmyuncle's profile

bobsmyuncle

110 posts in 2158 days


#7 posted 03-06-2011 05:44 AM

I agree with this. For less than the price of a couple of those clamps, you’ve got all you need.
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=5985&filter=kreg

Raspar said:
>First, I give you props for doing this without the guide. But with a price point of the Kregs line you can not beat it. It works flawlessly and I do not have to think about it.

View woody57's profile

woody57

647 posts in 2894 days


#8 posted 03-06-2011 09:18 PM

I have drilled pocket holes this way, but I wouldn’t give up my kreg jig. For me the jig is a lot faster and you get acurate, consistant holes every time. If you are not consistant with the dept every time, the screws may puncture throught the material.

-- Emmett, from Georgia

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